6s vs Old Wilsonians 8s – 14.11.15
Merton 6th 2-1 Old Wilsons 8th
Scorers: Peter Obeng-Adu, Kyle Smith
The 6th XI took their unbeaten league record to an away day in Hayes and came back victorious with another strong team display.
Wilsons will likely wonder how they didn’t at least get a point out of this match, given they probably had 60/70% of possession. But Merton 6s have a fighting spirit and a team togetherness that will not be beaten, and we carry enough of a threat up front that we take our chances when they come. We were much more clinical in attack… well, that is apart from Matt Haswell, who again filled his shorts rather than the back of the net when through 1 on 1.
The pitch was in surprising good nick given the weather, and with Matt Paxton newly leading the line, and Chris Spencer back in defence I knew somehow that we’d come out victorious. Kevin did his usual inspiring team talk, making sure everyone knew our keeper was a liability and not criticize him too much. Thankfully Quinlan wasn’t listening and had a really solid game in the net and was unlucky to concede at the end.
The 1st half ebbed and flowed, errors abound by both sides as they got to grips with the conditions, but it was clear Merton were more willing to put bodies on the line – many last ditch tackles and strong play in midfield/defence kept Wilsons at bay, and at the other end first Dan Plaistow, then Peter and finally Matt all should have done better and at least tested the keeper – before a good interchange between Matt and Peter put the latter in and he finished well. As much as we deserved.
At half time the elements went against us and suddenly it was blowing a gale in our faces, with Wilsons going slightly down hill we knew it was going to be a tough test. Early on in the half however we got the 2nd goal that proved crucial, Matt Haswell playing a superb ball down the line to Matt Paxton who crossed accurately to Kyle Smith who finished well.
From this point on it was pretty one way traffic, Merton struggling to get out of our half in the conditions but managing to repel all of Wilsons attacks. The back 4 played superbly again, and with John “the Beast” Katandika and Ty providing a shield in front we never looked in danger of conceding… there was more chance of us coming down with pneumonia. . When we did concede there was a touch of misfortune, the Wilsons cross looping over Martin off the skiddy turf and straight to the head of the wilsons midfielder.
That was 3 minutes to go and it was a nervy 3 minutes but we held firm and celebrated the 3 points in the warm bar!
Another game when any number of the squad could have a shout at man of the match. Mentions go to Matt Paxton who led the line well in his first game (two assists) and to John, who was told by the ref when conceding a foul for what looked like a perfectly good tackle that he ‘too hard’ .. but MOM for me goes to Kev ‘Smithy’ Locke – who made a number of excellent tackles and one goal saving header.
A big thanks to El Presidente Terry Baker for supporting us on the sideline